Abeyasekera soccerite and administrator par excellence | Daily News


 

Abeyasekera soccerite and administrator par excellence

Sri Lanka Football legend G.A.K. Abeyasekera died on Friday at the age of 82 years following complications relating to his long time illness and was laid to rest in the presence of his family members and friends at the General Cemetery , Borella .

G.A.K. Abeyasekera played a vital role in the operation of the FFSL.. for more than four and half decades in different football fields, and served as the FFSL;s committee member, secretary, Vice President, Team Manager, Director Training Programs and also was a coach. He was popularly known as Abey, played for a long time , as Goalkeeper. He earned a name in the game of football, when he was serving the prisons Department. He also gave a big hand for Colombo Football League and was a man who gave a big hand in organizing many football tournaments and gave maximum support for the players and was a competent custodian between the posts for Prisons and Government Services, and Sri Lanka football.

He started his football at Susamayawardana MV, Borella and after school had been seen at Zahira College Maradana following English classes Then the Baddegana Training Centre at one time was a suitable venue for the game and it was well maintained by ‘evergreen’ G. A. K. Abeyasekera. He is the ‘grand old master’ of Football with over four decades in football administration and he did a tremendous job at Kotte.

It was through Club football he earned a name as a top footballer He shone in the Colombo League and the FA Cup tournaments He was also a keen follower in boxing and boxed for St. Michael’s boxing club of Kollupitiya and also played hockey. After he gave up due to an injury he took up to administration. Abey was the sports secretary of the Prisons Department from 1967 to 1996, then General secretary of Youngsters SC in the 1960;s, and general secretary of the Colombo Football League for 25 years, from 1976 to 2001. He was also secretary of the Government Services Football Association from 1982 to 1996. Assistant secretary of the FFSL from 1987 to 1992, he rose to be vice president of the federation, a post he held from 1991 to 1996 and again from 1998 to 2001 and also was general secretary of the FFSL from 1996 to 1998. He also managed the national football side.

Abey had the privilege of officiating as Match Commissioner in AFC/FIFA international matches here and overseas and also in coaching, he conducted AFC ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Licence coaching courses.

He played a key role as secretary of the FFSL maintaining law and order. He provided all the information to the media in main competitions. That situation is apparently missing now. In the most extreme case, As a football promoter he acted in a role which every one liked. His control over transfer policy and targets, team affairs, stadium and training affairs, travel, fixture selection and having input into squad selection and day-to-day football affairs was excellent

His level of power and influence in the day-to-day operations of the game held by him was considerable. At the FFSL , the day-to-day operations were handled exclusively by him and his staff. Often. In such a case, the role he played in football promotion and marketing with actual control over footballing operations was excellent.

The football lovers will always remember G.A.K. Abeyasekara as a great promoter. We will never forget you. . May God grant him eternal rest.


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